In the end, these man-made waterfalls are just as absorbing as natural ones. The interesting thing about their sudden appearance on the New York waterfront is the interaction between their rushing movement and the city’s solid monuments — and how movement and monument can switch place as the eye turns to look from one to the other.
Artist Olafur Eliasson‘s four massive waterfalls around the New York harbor are sublime. Yet the scale of the city dwarfs these feats of engineering.
Big as they are, the waterfalls feel quietly contemplative compared with the noise of trucks, helicopters, irate bicyclists and other commuters rushing by.”
The installation runs from June 26 through October 13, 2008.
Mr. Eliasson likes to think big about ways to enhance the experience of light, space, scale, nature and community. His best known work is the 2003 “Weather Project,” an immense installation of the jaw-dropping kind. Using bright yellow fluorescent lights behind a scrim and a mirrored ceiling, it created an immense glowing sun on the end wall of Tate Modern’s vast Turbine Hall, while also mechanically adding bits of mist and fog to the view.
For months Londoners basked in the work’s artificial glow, often while stretched out on the ground gazing up at their tiny reflections. Sometimes they collaborated on performance pieces visible to everyone, arranging their prone bodies in words of greeting or protest or in abstract designs. Some people hated the work, seeing it as a dwarfing spectacle with fascist overtones; others complained that it turned the museum into a giant playpen.
The New York Times
Olafur Eliasson, The Weather Project, 2003. Installation view, Tate Modern, London.
Olafur Eliasson, Green river, 1998–, green dye and water, various locations.